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My husband and his family.

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  • This topic has 14 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 week ago by TeaK.
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  • #385814
    Lily Margarette
    Participant

    Hi.

    I’ve been married 11 years and have three wonderful children. I’m a full-time mum. I’ve always had issues with my husband’s family, but I’ve tried so hard with them. They gossip behind my back, they’re rude to my face especially his dad he’s really nasty and his parents take no interest in the kids neither do his siblings. I had a big fallout with them and his sisters three years ago due to all the above just coming to ahead at a family event which was for our son, it’s a long story but after it nearly breaking our marriage up (he sided with them whilst they badmouthed me in front of our son) we decided to try to make it work. I told him I’m distancing myself from his family, I’ll still visit his parents for the sake of the kids (they live two hours away) but I refuse to have a relationship with his sisters, I told my husband that doesn’t mean he can’t, just keep me out of it and he still phones them and chats via WhatsApp. They don’t see us but that’s because they refuse to come to our house even though I told my husband they can if they want to see the children, but they’re not interested in the kids, they never have been really. It’s been like this for three years.  It’s hard but we were managing just about by setting boundaries but this was until a few weeks back.
    <div dir=”auto”>It kicked off again when we found out his parents had been to the city twice which is 30mins from where we live and refused to come see their grandchildren, they hadn’t seen them for over a year due to the pandemic. When my husband confronted them they said it’s too far.  We were angry but i told my husband not to kick off too much as this is just how they are, they’ve always been like this and he’ll tear his hair out trying to change them, there’s no point.</div>
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    <div dir=”auto”>So we decided to visit them and stay two nights to make the effort, nothing happens specific on the trip, I’m chatty to my mother-in-law about the kids and I offer to help in the kitchen ect. His dad barely spoke to me until we’re about to leave. We we’re all sitting in the living room and there was once space left on the sofa for my father in-law to sit which was next me and he refused to sit in it. My husband asked him why he won’t sit there and in front of everyone, including my kids he says “because no one wants to sit next to her”. With that, I just get up go upstairs, pack up to leave, I’m so angry and upset, but the kids are there so I just want to go. Then his dad approaches me in the hall and says “packing to leave is always the best bit” my husband hears this and says to me “I’m so sorry”, my son who is 11 is asking why grandad is being so horrible. My husband has a quiet word with his mum as we’re leaving. He didn’t really mention how his dad spoke to me but has a go about them not visiting the kids. She doesn’t say much and we go.</div>
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    <div dir=”auto”>Since then they’ve ignored me, they ignored our wedding anniversary and low and behold i find out my husband has been discussing it all with his sister behind my back. He’s written an email to his dad APOLOGISING for upsetting his mum (which he got his sister to read over first) because he confronted her on our visit about not seeing the grandchildren. He’s been chatting normally with his parents ever since.</div>
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    <div dir=”auto”>My husband went to visit them on his own this weekend, and took his mum flowers and his dad wine! He said he had such a lovely weekend with them.</div>
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    <div dir=”auto”>I’ve had no apology for the insult in front of my kids or the fact they ignored our wedding anniversary. Or for the fact that they’re just plain nasty. They’ve completely shut me out.</div>
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    <div dir=”auto”>Can someone tell me what to make of that!? I’m sick of being treated like dirt. I’m sick of my husband bitching to me about them then completely sucking up to them in the next breath. I’m sick of him always putting me and the kids in 2nd place!</div>
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    <div dir=”auto”>I’m losing my mind keep having to deal with this!</div>
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    #385870
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lily Margarete:

    I’m sick of being treated like dirt. I’m sick of my husband bitching to me about them then completely sucking up to them in the next breath. I’m sick of him always putting me and the kids in 2nd place! I’m losing my mind keep having to deal with this!“-

    – Your frustration is screaming through my computer screen, and your situation really is tough.. a bad place to be in. There has to be some solution to the situation. I think that a few sessions with a family therapist with you, your husband, his parents and his sisters will be the best bet. (I don’t envy the therapist though.. she/ he will be working hard for their money!)

    anita

    #385916
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Lily Margarette,

    I’ve had no apology for the insult in front of my kids or the fact they ignored our wedding anniversary. Or for the fact that they’re just plain nasty. They’ve completely shut me out.

    They indeed are nasty. Even if they have some disagreements with you, the fact that they didn’t come to see their grandchildren although they were in the neighborhood and after not having seen them for a year tells a lot. Also, how rude of your father-in-law to refuse to sit next to you and then proclaim “because no one wants to sit next to her”, as if you had leprosy.

    I understand how it also pains you that your husband sort of agrees with you, but then secretly seeks apology from them – when it is them who should be apologizing! He doesn’t have the guts to stand up to them and tell them that they can’t treat his wife like that. He is weak, I think he is afraid of being rejected and judged by them.

    I think you should talk to him and tell him how disrespected you feel when he goes back to apologize to them instead of defending you. It shows lack of respect for you. He would need to take a stance in this matter. I understand that it’s hard for him, due to his childhood conditioning and probably lack of self-esteem, but still, you’re right to be upset about it.

    Otherwise, how are you with your self-esteem? Can you stand up for yourself (in other situations, not necessarily with your in-laws) or you feel frustrated about people not respecting you enough?

     

    #385923
    Lily Margarette
    Participant

    Hi thanks for your response.

    I spoke to him today and he feels by visiting them it’s sorted it out even though I’ve had no apology or heard anything from his parents. He feels I should draw a line under everything and move on..maybe I should, but if I do then all this stuff will just keep happening. I told him I can’t have a relationship with his sisters and parents because I find the negativity they project is too much for my mental health.

    I’ve always been able to speak up for myself and I’m the kind of person to be extremely honest if someone has upset me. My father-in-law has always been rude, the way the whole family speaks to eachother at times is shocking but no one ever stands up to him, apart from me and other people who are outside of the family say this is his problem with me. I dare to speak up and to add insult to injury I’m a woman.

    My self-esteem in others parts of life isn’t great tbh. I’m a full-time housewife and don’t feel as if I could cope financially if I were to split up from my husband. I used to work before I had kids but that was 10 years ago and feel completely terrified of ‘going out to work’ again. I’ve tried various things to help me, taking online courses, even starting freelance work for a little bit but I felt out of my depth and scared of failing. I think feeling dependant on him makes me feel trapped in a very unhappy situation. Then there’s the whole issue with the kids mental health and how it would effect them.

    Its all such a mess.

     

    #385924
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Lily Margarette,

    you are very welcome.

    I spoke to him today and he feels by visiting them it’s sorted it out even though I’ve had no apology or heard anything from his parents.

    It’s sorted out for him – he feels stressed if he doesn’t smooth things out with his parents, so he apologizes, maybe even in your name, or says something like “oh, she didn’t mean it”, and that’s how he appeases them and maintains a courteous relationship with them. But it’s not sorted out for you, because you’re made to be the guilty party and they are innocent. So things are upside down. And your husband unfortunately is keeping things upside-down and contributes to this unfair situation.

    I told him I can’t have a relationship with his sisters and parents because I find the negativity they project is too much for my mental health.

    You’re right. You don’t need to have a relationship with someone who is so rude and disrespectful to you. You don’t need to go visit them and then get a humiliating treatment. You have the right to say No and respect your boundaries and as you said, your mental health.

    My father-in-law has always been rude, the way the whole family speaks to eachother at times is shocking but no one ever stands up to him, apart from me and other people who are outside of the family say this is his problem with me. I dare to speak up and to add insult to injury I’m a woman.

    So he is a bully (and a narcissist?) but no one dares to stand up to him, apart from you. That’s why you’re so “offensive” to him. Like, how dare she speak to me like that?! You have the guts to stand up to him, which your husband doesn’t. You are able to defend yourself alright, but your husband cannot defend himself, neither can he defend you.

    I’m a full-time housewife and don’t feel as if I could cope financially if I were to split up from my husband. … I think feeling dependant on him makes me feel trapped in a very unhappy situation.

    Is your husband respectful towards you otherwise and only shows weakness with his family? If so, perhaps you don’t need to separate from him. But you can tell him clearly that you won’t allow to be treated like that, and you refuse to keep contact with his parents and sisters, since they mistreat you and disrespect you. Your husband can go visit them alone. If your husband refuses that and guilt-trips you, then you can start thinking of separating because then he truly isn’t respecting you.

    How does this sound to you?

     

    #385926
    Lily Margarette
    Participant

    Oh my word it makes me feel so much better reading your reply because I’m feeling this is being all ironed out in my head! Thanks so much.

    Things are ok when we don’t have to deal with his family, we differ quite a lot in personality which has been harder to work through because of this situation really. For example, there’s times when he’ll be rude like his dad but I won’t take it and he does apologise and backs off. I kind of expect it though because i remind myself who he’s been raised by so it’s obviously ‘normal’ to him, I see he also has narcissistic tendancies at times. I’m trying to raise my kids not to be the same and they understand because they’re not impressed with their grandfather’s behaviour, nor their fathers at times.

    The thing I’m most worried about are the children. They don’t have a close bond with his family as they’ve never shown interest but I feel my husband is forcing a relationship on them. My two sons aren’t fond of their aunts as they’ve heard me being bad mouthed by them. One even read nasty text messages on my husband’s phone about me. This really upset my son. If I say to my husband he should go visit them alone he always wants to take the kids and they desperately don’t want to go and I just don’t trust them around my kids as I honestly think they’re toxic. So what do I do? I’ll be accused of being controlling and accused if keeping the kids away.

    We have a religious family celebration for my son approaching soon and he wants to invite his parents and his sisters and none of them speak to me! He says its important to him they should be there and I’m not being supportive if I can’t do it. These people have ruined nearly every family event. His dad even told me I looked ugly on my wedding day for instance! I’ve literally been dealing with this for all these years and I’m so tired now.

    I don’t get why it’s so important to invite people who show absolutely no interest in our kids 99% of the time unless it’s at an event which other people can see them at.

    Should I agree to invite them but just stay away from them? To be honest my family are so cross with them and how I’ve been treated. The atmosphere will be awful!

    What would be best and most fair?

    #385948
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Lily Margarette,

    you are welcome, I am glad you don’t feel like it’s all in your head any more.

    The thing I’m most worried about are the children. They don’t have a close bond with his family as they’ve never shown interest but I feel my husband is forcing a relationship on them. My two sons aren’t fond of their aunts as they’ve heard me being bad mouthed by them. One even read nasty text messages on my husband’s phone about me. This really upset my son.

    That’s enough of a reason to not allow your children to go visit, only to have to deal with their grandparents and aunts talk rubbish about their mother! If the children don’t want to go, your husband shouldn’t be forcing them. I mean, if he wants to bow his head and take their verbal abuse, well, he can go ahead, but he doesn’t have the right to force that on your children. I would put my foot down and refuse that he takes the children with him when he visits.

    If his parents and sisters want to see the children, they can indeed visit you, and you will allow it, out of the kindness of your heart. But in that scenario too, I would forbid any badmouthing you in front of your children. If they can’t help themselves and keep their mouths shut, they aren’t welcome.

    If I say to my husband he should go visit them alone he always wants to take the kids and they desperately don’t want to go and I just don’t trust them around my kids as I honestly think they’re toxic. So what do I do? I’ll be accused of being controlling and accused if keeping the kids away.

    The kids don’t want to go, and it’s not good for their mental health to be forced to listen to rubbish about their mother. Full stop. Your husband might accuse you of being controlling, but you are protecting the children.

    We have a religious family celebration for my son approaching soon and he wants to invite his parents and his sisters and none of them speak to me! He says its important to him they should be there and I’m not being supportive if I can’t do it. These people have ruined nearly every family event. His dad even told me I looked ugly on my wedding day for instance! I’ve literally been dealing with this for all these years and I’m so tired now.

    Since this is a special occasion, you can allow this visit, however under the condition that they don’t badmouth you in front of the children. They should treat you nicely and be polite and keep their filthy mouths shut. Your husband should tell them that in advance. If he isn’t willing to, or they end up ridiculing him and laughing at him, well, they aren’t welcome. And if your husband doesn’t agree with your terms, then unfortunately he isn’t respectful of you, and will always side with his parents. And it’s a sign for you to start thinking of separating himself from him.

     

    #385971
    Lily Margarette
    Participant

    Thank you so much for your advice. You’ve really really helped me. For so long I’ve been questioning myself and you’ve helped me clarify how I feel and what to do about the situation.

    #385981
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Lily Margarette,

    you are very welcome. How do you feel about the suggestions I made? Do you think you can speak to your husband and demand those conditions to be met?

    #385982
    Lily Margarette
    Participant

    I spoke to him last night. He told me the family treat me the way they do because I won’t forgive them for the stuff they’ve done and I won’t apologise. He said his sisters don’t like me because I speak out to their father. His words were “how would you like an outsider coming along and having a go at your mum” ….an outsider…that’s how they see me. After 12 years of marriage and 18 years being together. They also said they’re hurt because I won’t ‘forgive’ them, they want an apology from me for not forgiving them!

    Surly it’s up to the individual whom they do or do not forgive? I feel I’m being bullied into forgiving.

    He said he gets why I feel the way I do and he has stuck up for me but he wants to get to the point where we are ok as a couple when it comes to family situations and gatherings. I told him I won’t ever stop him from seeing them, but I personally can’t have a relationship with them. So what does he do? He sets up a group WhatsApp with me, him and his mum. I don’t want to say anything to her.

    His mum said that I’ve fractured the family. That there’s hurt on both sides, they’ve nearly finished my marriage with their actions, and there’s hurt on BOTH sides!

    I feel like just throwing in the towel I’m so sick of the same argument go round and round.

     

    #385983
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Lily Margarette,

    I spoke to him last night. He told me the family treat me the way they do because I won’t forgive them for the stuff they’ve done and I won’t apologise.

    Have they apologized first for the stuff they’ve done to you?

    He said his sisters don’t like me because I speak out to their father.

    And should you stay silent when someone openly humiliates you and treats you like you have leprosy, when someone on your wedding day tells you you are ugly?!

    His words were “how would you like an outsider coming along and having a go at your mum” …. an outsider…that’s how they see me. After 12 years of marriage and 18 years being together

    Yes, that’s quite something…  it means they never accepted you as part of the family. Probably they only accept those who suck up to them and tolerate their father’s bullying. And even more worrisome is that your husband sees you as an outsider too, those are his words, which means he agrees with his parents and sisters.

    Surly it’s up to the individual whom they do or do not forgive? I feel I’m being bullied into forgiving.

    Yes you are, you see it well.

    He said he gets why I feel the way I do and he has stuck up for me but he wants to get to the point where we are ok as a couple when it comes to family situations and gatherings. I told him I won’t ever stop him from seeing them, but I personally can’t have a relationship with them. So what does he do? He sets up a group WhatsApp with me, him and his mum. I don’t want to say anything to her.

    Unfortunately your husband is bullying you into forgiving them. He is forcing you into a relationship under their terms, a humiliating and degrading relationship, where you are not respected at all.

    His mum said that I’ve fractured the family. That there’s hurt on both sides, they’ve nearly finished my marriage with their actions, and there’s hurt on BOTH sides!

    I understand your frustration. The problem is that your husband is on their side, and is forcing you into a degrading relationship with them. It means that he wants to please them at all costs, disregarding your needs and your feelings.

    I feel like just throwing in the towel I’m so sick of the same argument go round and round.

    By throwing in the towel you mean you you want to give in to his requests? What are you planning to do?

     

    #385997
    Lily Margarette
    Participant

    No i mean im not sure how much longer i can stay in a marraige thats fundamentally unhappy. But i see no other option as im financially dependant on him anyway and i wouldnt want to break up my kids home. Theyre having their own issues with school and i dont think they could take the stress of it.

    I’m never ever going to give in to his or thier requests …ever! its very hard living an every day life with someone knowing how they really feel about you, that you’re 2nd best or even further down on the pecking order. I see other people around me whos husbands seem devoted to them and i really feel ive drawn the short straw, but there angin who knows what goes on behind thier closed doors!

     

    #385998
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Lily Margarette,

    But i see no other option as im financially dependant on him anyway and i wouldnt want to break up my kids home. Theyre having their own issues with school and i dont think they could take the stress of it.

    I see your dilemma. It’s not an easy situation, specially since your kids are pretty small. How old are they?

    No i mean im not sure how much longer i can stay in a marraige thats fundamentally unhappy.

    I think it would help if you’d evaluate your marriage and see how much you can live in a “peaceful cohabitation” with your husband, and is it even possible, without feeling horribly about yourself or him all the time. How is he as a father, as a person (aside from his blindness around his family)? How dysfunctional (or healthy) is your family life at present? I think these are all factors to consider when planning your next steps…

     

    #386046
    Lily Margarette
    Participant

    i think we have a healthy enough family life when we’re not having to deal with this issue. my children are 11, 8 and 5. His relationshop with my 8 year old is a bit strained. My husband doesnt have the same patience level as me and the kids notice that, this is was causes the strain between them. Apart for that he’s an ok dad, he plays with the kids and provides for them.

    We take family holidays and they’re always nice enough and we go out for family feals and things. When we do spend time together we get on fine. I wouldnt say im in love with him anymore because of all the hurtful things he’s said and done, i can honestly say sometimes i dont even like him that much but he’s the father of my kids. I married him because i loved him, and thought he’d protect me and the family we have and make me feel safe. He sometimes reminds me of his dad which is very hard.

    I find him to be very thoughtless and self-centered. Not with birthdays or christmas or anything like that, but with every day life and feelings. Everything is about him its never about me or the children. He finds it very hard to stand in someone elses shoes and feel what they’re feeling.

    #386056
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Lily Margarette,

    i think we have a healthy enough family life when we’re not having to deal with this issue. …  We take family holidays and they’re always nice enough and we go out for family feals and things. When we do spend time together we get on fine. I wouldnt say im in love with him anymore because of all the hurtful things he’s said and done, i can honestly say sometimes i dont even like him that much but he’s the father of my kids.

    It appears to me you are able to function more or less normally as parents to your children, but not as a couple who loves and respects each other. In fact you already said that you feel you need to stay married because of the children, and also because you “feel completely terrified of ‘going out to work’ again.” I believe this second reason deserves to be explored – what is it that feels so terrifying now if you had to work again, compared to 11 years ago, when you worked last?

    I find him to be very thoughtless and self-centered. Not with birthdays or christmas or anything like that, but with every day life and feelings. Everything is about him its never about me or the children. He finds it very hard to stand in someone elses shoes and feel what they’re feeling.

    I see. So it seems he isn’t just lacking empathy towards you in the conflict with your in-laws, but in general, in how he treats you every day.

    I married him because i loved him, and thought he’d protect me and the family we have and make me feel safe. He sometimes reminds me of his dad which is very hard.

    Perhaps you had a strong need for safety (due to your own childhood issues?), and this attracted you to him, as someone who can create that safety for you. Someone who can provide for you and your children. This made you fall in love with him… But unfortunately, there is this other side of him, which doesn’t sound too promising.

    Do you think he would be open to couple’s therapy? Although, if a person has narcissistic tendencies, usually therapy doesn’t help because they don’t want to admit their own mistakes.

     

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